Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Baking temperature: 350 degrees
Baking time: 13-16 minutes


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for coating the dough
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg


Heat the butter, molasses, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over low heat, or in a bowl in the microwave, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Beat half the flour mixture into the melted butter mixture, then beat in the egg. Stir in the remaining flour. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour, or until it's firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Shape or scoop the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Roll the dough in granulated or coarse sugar to coat. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 13 minutes; they will still look soft and won't have changed color much. Remove them from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. They'll become crisper as they cool.

Rosa's Notes: I left the dough in the refrigerator for several hours and found the dough was too hard to scoop and was stuck to the bowl. I'd suggest limiting the chilling time to the recommended 1 hour or patting the dough out onto waxed paper before chilling. I found the cookies did better with three extra minutes in the oven. At 13 minutes the cookie still had the shape of the ball of dough. At 16 minutes the cookies had flattened but still retained some chew when cooled.

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